An anthology of five different taxi drivers in five American and European cities and their remarkable fares with a multitude of strangers on the same eventful night, including tales of urban displacement and existential angst.
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This is an extraordinary film that brilliantly shows how different people are around the world and at the same time shows us how truly alike we all are. We all have problems, we all have stories to tell, and first and foremost we are just trying to succeed in this life. Nobody could tell human stories quite like Jim Jarmusch can.
Seen at a midnight screening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and in case that's not obnoxiously hipstery enough, we went to a biergarten beforehand. But the circumstance couldn't be better for this lovely (if hit-and-miss) ode to the strange revelations that come out at night or the brief connections in taxi cabs. The movie was riding high in my mind when the Lyft driver spilled his guts to me on the 3 AM ride home.
Jarmusch is a master of creating amazingly detailed characters full of all of the little quirks and idiosyncrasies that you would expect from the people that roam the night during the graveyard shift. Like Coffee & Cigarettes you don't watch this film to arrive at some clever conclusion. You watch it for the experience of learning about a community of people spread across the world all sharing one thing: a taxicab.
Jarmusch is in love with the details, the mundane, the honest and reflective conversations we can all easily get into with a total stranger inside a taxi at high hours of the night. These vignettes are well-thought, hilarious, important and absolutely exquisite. Besides, who's the filmmaker who can culturally describe a city with only a few beautifully framed shots? Jarmusch. Only Jarmusch.
I'm about to watch this tonight (11/17/11).
I have mixed feelings about Jarmusch's work. Dead Man and Down By Law being cream of the crop, meanwhile proving nothing with miserable films like Broken Flowers and Limits of Control.
Still have several of his to see -- I'm excited for how my opinion on Jarmusch will evolve from here.